The Duchess of Cornwall has celebrated young authors around the UK with a special event hosted from her back garden. And she gave her speech from a special building set up for the Queen over eighty years ago.
Camilla was congratulating the winners of the annual Radio 2 500 Words competition. She has been involved in the contest since 2015 as an honorary judge and in recent years has hosted the live final from famous royal residences including Windsor Castle. However, the coronavirus pandemic meant this year’s event was a virtual celebration with the Duchess of Cornwall joining the party from a Wendy House in the grounds of her home at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate. The mini home was set up in 1935 for the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and her sister, Princess Margaret.
The 500 Words contest is ten years old this year and on her 500 word long speech to participants and winners, the Duchess made reference to the milestone, saying ”Just like many of us this year, 500 Words is having to settle for a virtual birthday party, rather than the one we had planned.”
She added ”Just before we get to the celebrating, I want to say something a bit serious. The last few months have been very difficult, confusing and worrying for lots of you. Thank you for staying at home, being kind to others and cheering up your family and friends whenever you could. You have been brilliant.”
And referring to herself as the contest’s ”ancient Fairy Godmother”, Camilla added ”this year we may have been confined to our homes, but nobody can confine imagination. Once again, I’ve been blown away by your creativity and imagination.”
The Duchess of Cornwall had special words of praise for the contest’s creator, broadcaster Chris Evans, and she promised everyone that once coronavirus restrictions are lifted, there would be a special party celebrating 500 Words.
This year’s winners were announced on the Zoe Ball Show.